NEWARK, DE. — Today, the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmacueticals (NIIMBL) announces that they have identified nine projects to allocate approximately $8.9 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) award received in May 2020 towards the support of the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Never in our lifetime have we experienced a global public health crisis of this magnitude. It presents a significant challenge but also an opportunity — one that I believe we are positioned to help overcome,” said NIIMBL Director Kelvin Lee. “Selecting projects for pandemic response, relief, and future preparedness has a heightened sense of urgency when an outbreak is ongoing. We had an outpouring of rapid response ideas from our diverse community of experts. Ultimately, we identified a strong base of projects that will make an impact.”
This funding was awarded to NIIMBL by NIST through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The project selection was part of a Response for Proposals in early April with the objective to prepare, prevent, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including to support development and advanced manufacturing of medical countermeasures and biomedical equipment and supplies.
The funded projects include: advancing serological testing by making recombinant virus proteins; rapid development of diagnostic testing capabilities to assist regional hospital systems; enhancing domestic supply chains related to testing and personal protective equipment manufacturing; testing of approaches for rapid sanitization; and to testbeds to accelerate agile manufacturing of medical countermeasures and rapid release testing of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines.
The following high-impact projects are the recipients and project partners of the NIIMBL award:
- Development of a SARS COV-2 Polyvalent Microbead Immunoassay led by Wadsworth Center, NY State Dept of Health
- Increased Throughput for COVID-19 Diagnosis Utilizing the Roche cobas® 6800 Real-Time PCR and Detection System led by the University of Delaware
- Designing a Test Kit Supply Chain led by North Carolina State University
- Emergency Production of COVID-19 Spike Protein for Therapeutic Antibodies and Diagnostics led by Texas A&M University
- Biomanufacturing and Implementation of Sensitive Quantitative COVID-19 ELISA Platform to Identify Sera Needed for Plasma Therapy led by Johns Hopkins University
- Validation of the Use of Vapor-Phase Hydrogen Peroxide as a Rapid Viral Decontamination Agent for Clinical and Public Space led by PMT LLC
- Production of N95 and Surgical Masks led by North Carolina State University
In addition, NIIMBL will accelerate the creation of two testbeds for collaborative innovation. The first is for fast, flexible end-to-end manufacturing of drug substance through an initiative partnered with more than a dozen companies. The second will be a demonstration of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies for rapid release of biopharmaceuticals.
All funding is subject to project agreement negotiations.
To learn more about these and other NIIMBL project, visit NIIMBL.org.
The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is a public-private partnership whose mission is to accelerate biopharmaceutical innovation, support the development of standards that enable more efficient and rapid manufacturing capabilities, and educate and train a world-leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce, fundamentally advancing U.S. competitiveness in this industry. NIIMBL is part of Manufacturing USA®, a diverse network of federally-sponsored manufacturing innovation institutes, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce with significant additional support from its members.
Maria X. Chacon
Director of Marketing and Communications